In Macau, a prominent government official has reportedly declared that she is expecting the number of tourists visiting the former Portuguese enclave over the course of 2019 to increase by up to 6% year-on-year to around 38 million.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the Wednesday prediction from Maria Helena De Senna Fernandes, Director for the Macao Government Tourism Office, included a revelation that officials are this year planning to make a concerted effort to attract even more visitors from international markets such as those in Europe and North America.
Chinese New Year surge:
In addition, Senna Fernandes stated that late-October’s opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which connects Macau to Hong Kong, could result in her city recording a boost of up to 9% year-on-year in tourism numbers for next month’s Chinese New Year.
The news source cited official information from Macau’s Statistics and Census Service in reporting that the city welcomed some 35.8 million tourists in 2018, which represented a swell of 9.8% year-on-year, as the overnight tally rose by 7.2% to reach almost 18.5 million and account for a record high of over 51% of visitors.
Implementing ‘smart tourism’:
The Macao Government Tourism Office followed up the forecast from Senna Fernandes by proclaiming that it intends to cultivate a policy of ‘smart tourism’ over the course of 2019 by implementing strategies set out in 2017’s Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan. It announced that this is to encompass improving the city’s overall visitor offering alongside the carrying out of further integration schemes with Hong Kong and communities in Guangdong Province in order to transform the entire region into a base for training and tourism-education.